Chris Nolan Departs Superman Reboot To Focus On ‘Dark Knight Rises’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated December 3rd, 2010 at 3:40 pm,

Christopher Nolan Leaves Superman Reboot Chris Nolan Departs Superman Reboot To Focus On Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan has been a headline hog of late due to his involvement with two of the most anticipated comic book movies in the near future – the Superman reboot The Man of Steel and final entry in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.

However, Nolan has always been a one-movie-at-a-time kind of filmmaker – so, in order to focus on his final installment of the Batman franchise, Nolan has decided to leave Superman’s future in the hands of Zack Snyder and Warner Bros.

This may disappoint a large contingent of superhero fans out there, but it is the best decision for The Dark Knight Rises. Ultimately, Nolan’s Batman franchise is the more prized possession and in the end, we will be grateful that Nolan decided against splitting up his creative focus between DC Comics’ star heroes.

Nolan’s wife/producer Emma Thomas told Hitfix the acclaimed director has wiped his hands of Superman in order to focus on his favorite caped crusader. While it is more a recollection of his conversation, Hitfix‘s Gregory Ellwood explained the revelation:

Thomas said Nolan is so single minded when making a picture it’s hard to get him to work on anything else.  And she made it clear that in the case of “Superman,” Nolan and David Goyer just had an idea they couldn’t believe wasn’t being explored by Warner Bros.  And with Zack Snyder now on board as director, Nolan will be busy making “The Dark Knight Rises” and “we are handing it off to him.”  So, take note anyone out there thinking this will be a strange Nolan/Snyder partnership.  Thomas reiterated that they brought it to an appropriate screenplay and it’s now Snyder’s picture.

I am not completely surprised by this announcement. I was skeptical of his role as producer in the first place, considering he has yet to produce any project he didn’t also direct. But it is obviously disappointing to know that he will not oversee the remainder of the creative process. If he believes his impact has already been made by establishing a worthy story and script, we should be happy enough with that.

The Dark Knight Rises needs Nolan’s full attention. It’s not like he wouldn’t have given it everything he had, but that little extra time spent on Superman could be better utilized in closing one of the best adaptations of any novelized story in recent memory – let alone a comic book.

Nolan’s focus is relatively unmatched in Hollywood. He typically churns out a movie every two years. This process results in more refined products. While we don’t know his exact strategy, there is no question he likes to develop and explore these stories in a completely focused time frame. This summer he even revealed that he does not use the Internet or even own a cell phone. These are the sacrifices a man makes when he is truly dedicated to his craft.

superman and american flag Chris Nolan Departs Superman Reboot To Focus On Dark Knight Rises

So what does this mean for Superman? You can keep your black-rim glasses on and your curly bang right where it is – the reboot will be just fine. Nolan’s footprint was made while the concrete was still wet and it will be there years later when it is dry and cracked. It is Zack Snyder’s franchise to lose and rest assured the director knows this.

As Snyder continues to search for his Clark Kent, one aspect of the production has finally been solidified. Any debate over Hans Zimmer’s involvement can now be put to rest – he will score The Man of Steel. More details can be found in our full article on the topic. As they say, with each door that closes a window opens. Zimmer is a great addition to the minds behind the reboot. The only remaining stage is to properly cast the main players.

How do you feel about Christopher Nolan’s departure from The Man of Steel? Did you expect as much or are you floored and suddenly nervous? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Superman reboot is set for a December 2012 release.

The Dark Knight Rises will arrive in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Source: Hitfix

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  1. While I dont think that Nolan ending his run with the film is the end of the world, I dont like Snyder as a director for this. Snyder is too dark of a director and reminds me of another Tim Burton. While Tim Burton is renoundly known as a great director, which he is, would you want him directing Superman? Prob not, same feelings towards Snyder

  2. YAY!!!!!!!…..erm…..I mean…..what a sad day :(

  3. WTF.

  4. Ohhh, new Nolan/superman/Snyder thread debate lol :).

    • Yeah, didnt we just leave this party?

      • Hey i wanted to be in that party! :(

        • Actually that was a quote from Star Wars. One of the most famous movies of all time.

          • Is that so? haha :)

            • *head shakes*

              • Damn you guys. No one i know has seen star wars im not the only one LOL. I had mythology class,and my teacher was a huge star wars fan and he asked “who has not seen star wars?” And half or more ppl in the class raised their hands. Just saying. Still,i will see them one day,before i die certainly LMAO! :D

                • if it helps, i’ve only seen the newest star trek movie. not much of a fan no :)

                  • Yes Magnus ive seen the new star treck film,and i didnt like it at all. :(

                    • wait are we talking about star trek or wars? im confused haha. oooohh star wars! well i’ve seen the movies but not like a huge fan. and the new star wars movie was awesome, though not a fan of the series there either.

                    • blah! i mean new star trek movie.. god.. im off today:\

                • No one you know has seen Star Wars?

                  Where the hell do you live, Dagobah?

                  • Sam, you’re gonna confuse the kid! Degobah lol!

                    • LOL! i live in AZ,dead town.

                  • DSB, use small words for Ricky, or try and cleverly use coded HP references so he might understand better.

                    • Yes DSB id appreciate it 8-)

          • @ DrSam
            I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

  5. This doesnt sounds good.
    1st they are difinitely gonna have to rush to production due to the lawsuit case.
    2nd they are also having tough time to recast the ‘S’
    3rd they are loosing a producer who may give an impact to the production.

    Poor Snyder get caught in the middle of this mess.

  6. I can understand that, and I agree with him that he should focus mainly on TDKR. Its almost like what happened with Del Toro and the Hobbit, I’m pretty sure Peter Jackson will keep most of the stuff he and Del Toro had came up with so the same in this situation.

  7. Ive lost interest in the superman reboot.

  8. Nolan has already hand picked Snyder and overseen the development of the screenplay, what more do we want from him?

    • Hand picked? More like picked a director who wouldnt make waves or changes to the script, they picked Snyder because he wasnt going to cause any waves.

      Shoulda gone with Affleck.

      • Affleck turned it down.

        • Yes he did. But do you know why?

          • B/c he didn’t want to get carried away with a big budget film.

            “The one benefit of having done all kinds of movies as an actor is, you learn the pros and cons of being tempted to do a really big movie because it costs a lot of money. With Superman, I think they’re going to do a great version. Chris Nolan is brilliant and they’ve got a great director for it. I’ve love to do something like Blade Runner, but a lesson I’ve learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they’ll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what’s important. Also, there are a lot of guys ahead of me on the list to do epic effects movies,” according to affleck.

  9. I’ve pretty much said all that I can possibly say about this subject, but I’ll give it one last go;

    I was hoping Nolan was going to be around to reign in Snyder when he went too far, but now Snyder is in control, which is the last thing I wanted. This will be a disaster. It will kill the character for another 10 years.

    All we get are completely conflicting reports, Snyder claims the film is not based on any existing comic book, many have commented that Goyer’s script is unfinished and terrible, and more recent claims that the story seems remarkably like Superman Birthright. Either Snyder has never heard of this story, in which case he shouldn’t be anywhere near this film, or he was lying, or the script is as bad as people say.

    • And Snyder directed 300 and watchmen,movies i dislike. So,i thik the reboot will be a disaster. Besides there are plenty superheroe movie to choose from in the next couple of years LOL. ;)

      • Yeah to many lol!

      • Yes but Superman is the ultimate superhero, he defines the genre entirely!
        He should be getting the greatest movie adaptation, not this hack and slash put up job.

        • I agree DrSam,now i dont think its possible,but oh well. What can we do?

          • We can dig a tunnel using mainly spoons…

            • Right! :)

      • Wait. You didn’t like 300? I understand Watchmen (it’s love/hate – I love it) but 300 was brilliant.

        • 300 was plain weird. To me atleast..

  10. As long as Nolans input is put to good use the rest is up to Snyder he can set a clear path for Superman and break this curse our boy in Blue seems to suffer in the movies and resurect this franchise and make it unique to satisfy his ego as well as give the fans what they want or put a krptonite bullet and make another crappy movie anyone up for Superman 3 anyone!!!

    • Superman 3 isnt entirely bad, its know Superman 4

  11. I really just want to wait until the first footage to make a judgment, but all I keep seeing in my head is Superman and Doomsday lunging towards each other in slow-motion, with a few battle screams thrown in.

    • With Superman shouting “THIS IS…METROPOLIS!”

      • DSM,

        LOL! :-D


    • Like the Hulk and Abom? Been there done that. :D

  12. YES! I like Nolan, but I am willing to give Snyder the benefit of the doubt. Everyone worships Nolan like he is some sort of god. I like his films, but I feel Inception suffered from the “It is cool because everyone else thinks it is cool” syndrome.

    • yes Nicolas i hate that ppl think Nolan is like a God,his films are great but seriously?

  13. I am sure that Nolan would be available to Snyder if he wanted to call him.
    This doesnt mean they wont have any contact at all just that its basically Snyders baby.

  14. They should just say “Screw it”, and follow Superman: Earth One ;)

    • I’d be up for that! What a graphic novel that was, apart from the dodgy art stealing that is.

  15. True that, it has enough brooding for the “Twilight” crowd,minus the shimmering and enough Superman goodness for the rest of us! Money-maker for sure.

    • I have to admit, as much as I loved that book, when I found out how they had done the character artwork, I was a bit disgruntled to say the least.

  16. Well, I like Nolan as a director, but after the Dark Knight, WAAAAAYYYYYYYY too many fanboys started ridin’ this guy’s nuts. He very talented, but fanboys act like hes the second coming or something

    • His nuts must be very sore indeed.

      • Agreed HAHA!

  17. What happened with the artwork, Becks?

    • Take a look at the artwork for Lois Lane in that book, then google Jennifer Carpenter (she is one of the main characters in Dexter) to there is a similarity would be an understatement.
      What they did was take images of the actress and essentially traced them, albeit in a sophisticated way.
      There are frames in the comic, one that stands out is Lois with her arms crossed that is direct copy of a still image from Dexter.

      • ok i googled what you said and christ! its the exact same pose! its like he just looked on the picture and painted what he saw lol! creepy

        • Yup. It’s a great book, and there isn’t really anything wrong with copying someones likeness for a comic book character, but that is something different. He actually copied the exact image, pose, body language, even facial expression.

  18. This Superman movie is looking to be fantastic! Zack Snyder is the man and I have no doubt at all that he will bring us an amazing Superman movie with or without Nolan!! And with Hans Zimmer being included it makes it all the better!

    As for Nolan. This is a great choice. I’m sure he’ll be popping his head into the Superman production though.

    I say Nolan directs The Justice League! That’s my choice for it. I think he is the perfect choice.

  19. Sin, I must commend your bravery for you saying that. Pretty much every view of the Reboot and Snyder has been negative! Here is to hoping you are right.

    • Lol bravery. It’s my point of view. I believe that Snyder will do great in the position he is in. I know his way of directing is different, but I think he will succeed in the Superman series like Nolan did with Batman. And I think he’ll be perfectly fine without Nolan.

      I personally loved both 300 and Watchmen. And I love his style so I can’t wait to see what he does with Superman.

      • Well I love 300 and Watchmen. But those two were like straight conversion from the comics. While The Man of Steel has an original script which not based from any of Superman comics.

        Don’t know if it’s for better or worse. I hope Snyder could deliver it well.

  20. @Becks

    I see I see! Pardon my ignorance, but is there a big problem with that? I mean likeness rights or something?

    • Artists are meant to create art not copy images from a tv show, it’s more of a moral thing than anything else. It really cheapened what was a solid effort for me.

  21. I love how people automatically think it has something to do with the quality of the film. Nolan also left another film last year b/c he wanted to work on TDKR. Everyone knew it would tough, even for Nolan to tackle two big-budget films in the first place.

  22. All this means is that Nolan is wanting to focus one film at a time, which is what Nolan has been doing his whole career.

  23. Agreed. Also it is SNYDER’S baby, and I know that probably induces massive shuttering around the globe, but I feel we will all be pleasantly surprised. I will be happy to eat my words if the movie blows.

  24. i have to say, im a little sad, but if this means that batman wont suffer from it, then good…

    hopefully, superman, will be good enough with out nolan… hopefully nolan gave snyder enough ideas and insight when he was attached to the man of steel…

  25. This is a bit of a bummer, but completely understandable. I still have high hopes for both films.

  26. This is like giving you the keys to the Ferrari
    and if you get in an accident it is your fault.
    Nolan is off the hook if the car is wrecked.

  27. Paul Telfer. Imdb him. Clark Kent/Superman incarnate. Go ahead.

  28. To follow DrSamBeckett’s convo from earlier, yeah hella people d-ride Nolan but there is a reason to: he’s probably one of the greatest directors of this generation (along with Del Toro, Fincher)

  29. Glad to hear this. It is not as if the work that Nolan has done on TMS so far is going in the toilet, he’s got the story set, now he’s trusting Snyder to tell it.

    Still very excited for both flicks.